Because of the fall of man, sin and death became the law of this world. However, because of Jesus Christ and His infinite sacrifice we have the hope of eternal life. Thus we can exclaim as did Isaiah and the Apostle Paul, “Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” [1 Corinthians 15:54-58.]
What can be more joyous than the hope of eternal life? For because of the hope of this promise, we no longer need to be afraid of death. However, this victory is only because of the Lord Jesus, who willing sacrificed His own life so that we might have atonement for our sins. Thus, we are saved from death because of grace, but we are rewarded, or judged, according to what we have done in this life, whether it be good or bad [2 Corinthians 5:10], and how we have responded to the testimony of Jesus once we have received it. This is why Paul admonished the church to be steadfast, unmovable, and always abounding in the work of the Lord. For “it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.” [Hebrews 9:27].
The grace that God has given through His Only Begotten Son will not exempt anyone from judgment, but rather it will be the measuring stick for the judgment. For surely the Lord Jesus is the one who paid the price for our sin, thereby He is the one to judge. As Jesus said, “For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom He will. For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.” [John 5:22-23].
If we will continue in well doing so that Jesus Christ is glorified in our life, the promise is sure that we will receive the gift of eternal life, which is the greatest of all the gifts of God. Nevertheless, if we do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, we will receive the wages of whom we have listed to obey. [Romans 2:5-11 and Romans 6:16]. Let us then walk uprightly before the Lord that we might have righteousness rewarded to us.
Scriptures to Consider
Hebrews 9:27 (KJV)
9:27 And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:
Romans 14:10-12 (KJV)
14:10 But why dost thou judge thy brother? or why dost thou set at nought thy brother? for we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. 14:11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. 14:12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.
2 Corinthians 5:10 (KJV)
5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
Romans 2:1-11 (KJV)
2:1 Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things. 2:2 But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things.
2:3 And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God? 2:4 Or despisest thou the riches of His goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?
2:5 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; 2:6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds: 2:7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life: 2:8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath, 2:9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile; 2:10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile: 2:11 For there is no respect of persons with God.
John 5:19-23 (KJV)
5:19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He seeth the Father do: for what things soever He doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise. 5:20 For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth Him all things that Himself doeth: and He will shew Him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.
5:21 For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom He will. 5:22 For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son: 5:23 That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father. He that honoureth not the Son honoureth not the Father which hath sent him.
1 Corinthians 3:10-17 (KJV)
3:10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon. 3:11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
3:12 Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble; 3:13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is. 3:14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. 3:15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. 3:16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? 3:17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
Revelation 20:12-14 (KJV)
20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 20:13 And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. 20:14 And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.